17 May 2022 19:20, UTC
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Robinhood is taking a plunge into the nascent world of web3 by announcing a new wallet app that allows customers to access non-fungible token markets, decentralized exchanges, and token exchanges.
The new wallet will be a separate application from the existing exchange and crypto platform Robinhood and will function similarly to other non-custodial wallets, such as MetaMask, as the US brokerage announced at the Permissionless crypto conference on Tuesday. However, Robinhood hopes that the elegant and intuitive design of the new app will make working with websites less burdensome for beginners. The firm plans to fully roll out the product to its entire user base by the end of the year.
“We at Robinhood believe that cryptocurrency is more than just an asset class. DeFi can be the operating system that secures the future of financial services and we want to help people experience the full range of opportunities that these revolutionary technologies have to offer,” commented Vlad Tenev, co-founder and CEO of Robinhood. “With our web3 wallet, we are building a product that will satisfy the most advanced proponents of DeFi, as well as create a secure path for those just starting out in cryptography to delve deeper into the ecosystem.”
Another bonus: the firm plans to cover gas costs, which during certain periods of activity can make coin exchange prohibitively expensive.
To offset the gas fee, the firm will take on part of its stock plan, relying on third-party liquidity providers to get the best price on a given swap. Robinhood does not plan to take part of the profits, since in the short term it is focused on ensuring that the product corresponds to the market.
“We make it not strategic, but easy to use,” said Robinhood’s CTO of cryptography, Johann Kerbrat.
The move illustrates the broader trend of firms in the centralized crypto market to launch products on DeFi. Earlier this week, Coinbase announced its own service that will allow customers to connect to decentralized apps through its app.
Robinhood, which has been criticized for opening up sophisticated financial instruments like options to unsophisticated traders, said it would focus on educational materials to arm users while they dabble in DeFi.
“We’ll give you access to everything, but we’ll show you warnings about what involves risk. But at the end of the day, we don’t make decisions for you.”
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